21 February 2018

Cloudify 3.4 Brings Open Source Orchestration to Top Five Public Clouds with New Azure Support and Full Support for VMware, OpenStack Private Clouds

Cloudify 3.4 Brings Open Source Orchestration to Top Five Public Clouds

The latest version of Cloudify open source multi-cloud orchestration software—Cloudify 3.4—is now available. It brings pure-play cloud orchestration to every major public and private cloud platform—Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure, Google Compute Platform (GCP), OpenStack and VMware—as well as cloud native technologies like Kubernetes and Docker. The software is at work across multiple industries and geographies, and it has become a preferred orchestrator for telecom providers deploying network functions virtualization (NFV).

***Cloudify 3.4 is now available for download here.***

Cloudify is the only pure-play, standards-based (TOSCA) cloud orchestration platform that supports every major private and public cloud infrastructure offering. With Cloudify, enterprises can use a single, open source cloud orchestration platform across OpenStack, VMware or AWS clouds, with virtualization approaches such as VMs or containers and with different automation toolsets like Puppet, Chef or Saltstack. Because it provides an easy-to-use, open source tool for management and orchestration (MANO) of multiple clouds, data centers and availability zones, Cloudify is attractive to telecoms, internet service providers, and enterprises using hybrid cloud.

Key Feature Summary

Enterprise-Grade Enhanced Hybrid Cloud Support - supports all major public and private cloud environments, including AWS, Azure, GCP, OpenStack and VMWare vSphere and vCloud
Support for Entire VMware Stack - the only open source orchestration platform supporting the entire VMware stack; all VMware plugins are open source and available in the Cloudify Community edition
Public Shared Images for both AWS and OpenStack - prebaked Cloudify Manager environments now available for AWS through a shared AMI, and OpenStack through a QCOW image; enables simple bootstrapping of a full-fledged Cloudify environment in minutes
Deployment Update - allows updating of application deployments, enabling application operations engineers and developers to introduce topology changes and include new resources to run TOSCA deployments
In-Place Manager Upgrade - the new Cloudify Manager upgrade process provides fully automated in-place upgrades for all manager infrastructure without any downtime to the managed services; in-place upgrade will allow easy migration between Cloudify versions and application of patched versions

Cloudify 3.4 Enhanced for Hybrid Cloud, Microservices

OpenStack Ottawa Meetup - March 29th 2017

The new release enhances Cloudify usability among enterprises looking for hybrid cloud orchestration without compromising on solutions that cater to the least common denominator of API abstraction. It does this by offering greater support of IaaS, enhanced usability, quicker installation and improved maintenance processes. Cloudify 3.4 introduces plugins for Microsoft Azure and GCP, complementing the existing portfolio of plugins for OpenStack, AWS and VMware vSphere and vCloud, which are now all open source. The new release also enhances support for container orchestration and container lifecycle management, including microservices modeling and enhanced support for Kubernetes.

The New Hybrid Stack with New Kubernetes Support

Cloudify 3.4 adds support for the Kubernetes container management project, enabling users to manage hybrid stacks that include both microservices on top of Kubernetes, alongside stateful services such as backends on bare-metal and VMs. It also manages composition and dependency management between services, as well as triggering of auto-scaling of both the micro-services and Kubernetes minions.

Continuous Deployment Across Clouds

Managing applications across hybrid environments and stacks goes far beyond infrastructure-layer orchestration. DevOps processes can be difficult to apply in hybrid cloud environments such as continuous deployment across clouds. Cloudify 3.4 comes with a new set of features that enables the pushing of updates to both the application and the infrastructure itself.

OpenStack Benefits for VMware

Cloudify for Telecom Operators

Cloudify 3.4 continues the open disruption in telecom and strengthens even further the offering for telecom service providers with its “Cloudify for NFV MANO (Management and Orchestration)” offering, which includes a robust set of new features, NFV-specific plugins, and blueprints showcasing modeling of VNFs (Virtual Network Functions) and SFC (Service Function Chaining) using TOSCA.

Media Resources

Cloudify 3.4 Has Landed - Learn More
Hybrid Cloud Blog Posts
Online Kubernetes Lab and Hybrid Cloud Module
Hybrid Cloud in Production Webinar
New Cloudify Telco Edition

About GigaSpaces

GigaSpaces Technologies provides software for cloud application orchestration and scaling of mission-critical applications on cloud environments. Hundreds of tier-one organizations worldwide are leveraging GigaSpaces technology to enhance IT efficiency and performance, including top financial firms, e-commerce companies, online gaming providers, healthcare organizations and telecom carriers. GigaSpaces has offices in the US, Europe and Asia. More at www.gigaspaces.com and getcloudify.org

Microsoft introduces Azure Stack, its answer to OpenStack

Microsoft has taken the wraps off Azure Stack, its take on hybrid cloud infrastructure and response to the popular OpenStack open-source cloud computing package. Azure Stack will begin shipping in September.

Azure Stack was originally designed as a software-only product, much like OpenStack. But Microsoft has decided to add integrated hardware turnkey solutions from its certified partners such as Dell EMC, HPE, Lenovo, Cisco and Huawei.

Microsoft first announced Azure Stack at the Ignite Conference in 2015 and formally introduced it at the Inspire conference in Washington, D.C.

Azure Stack is basically the same APIs, tools and processes that power Azure, but it’s intended to be hosted on-premises in private cloud scenarios. By offering the same platform and tools both on-premises and in Azure, the company promises consistency and ease of deployment, whether it’s hosted locally or in the cloud.

It also makes it possible to deploy different instances of the same app for meeting regulatory compliance, such as a financial app with different business or technical requirements, or perhaps regulatory limits on what can go into the cloud. But both apps can be based on the same codebase and one slightly altered for the cloud.

The Cloud On Your Terms - Azure PaaS Overview

“The ability to run consistent Azure services on-premises gets you full flexibility to decide where applications and workloads should reside,” said Mike Neil, corporate vice president for Azure Infrastructure and Management, in the blog post accompanying the announcement.

Azure Stack will use two pricing models: pay-as-you-use, similar to what you would get with the Azure service, and capacity-based, where customers will pay a fixed annual fee based on the number of physical cores in a system.

Omni v2.0 GCE, Azure integration and support for multiple regions

There will also be an option of having Azure Stack delivered and operated as a fully managed service. The services will be managed by data center operators such as Avanade, Daisy, Evry, Rackspace and Tieto. These companies are already delivering services around Azure.

Microsoft has said that its goal is to ensure that most ISV applications and services that are certified for Azure will work on Azure Stack. ISVs such as Bitnami, Docker, Kemp Technologies, Pivotal Cloud Foundry, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux are working to make their solutions available on Azure Stack.

Microsoft also announced the Azure Stack Development Kit (ASDK), a free single-server deployment SDK for building and validating applications on the Azure Stack.

Throughout the Technical Previews, we’ve seen tremendous customer and partner excitement around Microsoft Azure Stack. In fact, we’re speaking with thousands of partners this week at our Microsoft Inspire event. Our partners are excited about the new business opportunities opened up by our ‘One Azure Ecosystem’ approach, which helps them extend their Azure investments to Azure Stack, to unlock new possibilities for hybrid cloud environments. In that vein, today we are announcing:

Orderable Azure Stack integrated systems: We have delivered Azure Stack software to our hardware partners, enabling us to begin the certification process for their integrated systems, with the first systems to begin shipping in September. You can now order integrated systems from Dell EMC, HPE, and Lenovo.
Azure Stack software pricing and availability: We have released pricing for the pay-as-you-use and capacity-based models today, you can use that information to plan your purchases.
Azure Stack Development Kit (ASDK) availability: ASDK, the free single-server deployment option for trial purposes, is available for web download today. You can use it to build and validate your applications for integrated systems deployments.

Azure Stack promise

Azure Stack is an extension of Azure, thereby enabling a truly consistent hybrid cloud platform. Consistency removes hybrid cloud complexity, which helps you maximize your investments across cloud and on-premises environments. Consistency enables you to build and deploy applications using the exact same approach – same APIs, same DevOps tools, same portal – leading to increased developer productivity. Consistency enables you to develop cloud applications faster by building on Azure Marketplace application components. Consistency enables you to confidently invest in people and processes knowing that those are fully transferable. The ability to run consistent Azure services on-premises gets you full flexibility to decide where applications and workloads should reside. An integrated systems-based delivery model ensures that you can focus on what matters to your business (i.e., your applications), while also enabling us to deliver Azure innovation to you faster.

In its initial release, Azure Stack includes a core set of Azure services, DevOps tooling, and Azure Marketplace content, all of which are delivered through an integrated systems approach. Check out this whitepaper for more information about what capabilities are available in Azure Stack at the initial release and what is planned for future versions.

Hybrid use cases unlock application innovation

Azure and Azure Stack unlock new use cases for customer facing and internal line of business applications:

Edge and disconnected solutions: You can address latency and connectivity requirements by processing data locally in Azure Stack and then aggregating in Azure for further analytics, with common application logic across both. We’re seeing lots of interest in this Edge scenario across different contexts, including factory floor, cruise ships, and mine shafts.
Cloud applications that meet varied regulations: You can develop and deploy applications in Azure, with full flexibility to deploy on-premises on Azure Stack to meet regulatory or policy requirements, with no code changes needed. Many customers are looking to deploy different instances of the same application – for example, a global audit or financial reporting app – to Azure or Azure Stack, based on business and technical requirements. While Azure meets most requirements, Azure Stack enables on-premises deployments in locations where it’s needed. Saxo Bank is a great example of an organization who plan to leverage the deployment flexibility enabled by Azure Stack.
Cloud application model on-premises: You can use Azure web and mobile services, containers, serverless, and microservice architectures to update and extend existing applications or build new ones. You can use consistent DevOps processes across Azure in the cloud and Azure Stack on-premises. We’re seeing broad interest in application modernization, including for core mission-critical applications. Mitsui Knowledge Industry is a great example of an organization planning their application modernization roadmap using Azure Stack and Azure.
Ecosystem solutions across Azure and Azure Stack

You can speed up your Azure Stack initiatives by leveraging the rich Azure ecosystem:

Our goal is to ensure that most ISV applications and services that are certified for Azure will work on Azure Stack. Multiple ISVs, including Bitnami, Docker, Kemp Technologies, Pivotal Cloud Foundry, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and SUSE Linux, are working to make their solutions available on Azure Stack.
You have the option of having Azure Stack delivered and operated as a fully managed service. Multiple partners, including Avanade, Daisy, Evry, Rackspace, and Tieto, are working to deliver managed service offerings across Azure and Azure Stack. These partners have been delivering managed services for Azure via the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program and are now extending their offerings to include hybrid solutions.
Systems Integrators (SI) can help you accelerate your application modernization initiatives by bringing in-depth Azure skillsets, domain and industry knowledge, and process expertise (e.g., DevOps). PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is a great example of an SI that’s expanding their consulting practice to Azure and Azure Stack.
Orderable integrated systems, free single-server kit for trial
Azure Stack has two deployment options:

Azure Stack integrated systems – These are multi-server systems meant for production use, and are designed to get you up and running quickly. Depending upon your hardware preferences, you can choose integrated systems from Dell EMC, HPE, and Lenovo (with Cisco and Huawei following later). You can now explore these certified hardware solutions and order integrated systems by contacting our hardware partners. These systems come ready to run and offer consistent, end-to-end customer support no matter who you call. They will initially be available in 46 countries covering key markets across the world.
Azure Stack Development Kit (ASDK) – ASDK is a free single server deployment that’s designed for trial and proof of concept purposes. ASDK is available for web download today, and you can use it to prototype your applications. The portal, Azure services, DevOps tools, and Marketplace content are the same across this ASDK release and integrated systems, so applications built against the ASDK will work when deployed to a multi-server system.
Closing thoughts
As an extension of Azure, Azure Stack will deliver continuous innovation with frequent updates following the initial release. These updates will help us deliver enriched hybrid application use cases, as well as grow the infrastructure footprint of Azure Stack. We will also continue to broaden the Azure ecosystem to enable additional choice and flexibility for you.

Cloud Orchestration with Azure and OpenStack – The Less Explored Hybrid Cloud

Often times, when hybrid cloud is discussed, the natural choices for such a discussion usually center around OpenStack coupled with VMware, or AWS coupled with OpenStack, and even diverse clouds and container options – but Azure coupled with OpenStack is a much less common discussion.

OpenStack Summit Vancouver 2018

This is actually quite an anomaly when you think about it as both Azure’s public cloud, and OpenStack’s private cloud are highly enterprise-targeted.  With Azure boasting enterprise-grade security and encryption, and even offering their newly announced Azure Stack aimed at helping enterprises bridge the gap between their data centers and the cloud, and OpenStack’s inherent openness of APIs enabling enterprises to build their own cloud, these should naturally fit together in the cloud landscape.  Yet this combination is surprisingly often overlooked.

Free, open source, hybrid cloud orchestration – need I say more?  Get Cloudify

Nati Shalom, recently discussed in his post Achieving Hybrid Cloud Without Compromising On The Least Common Denominator, a survey that demonstrates that enterprises these days are often leveraging as many as six clouds simultaneously, and the list just keeps on growing with new technologies sprouting up by the minute.

That’s why solutions like the Azure Stack, that are also geared towards multi-cloud scenerios in the context of app migration to the cloud from traditional data centers, especially while taking all of the enterprise-grade considerations involved in such a transition into account, are critical.

Project Henosis Unified management of VMs and Container based infrastructure for OpenStack

Historically, in order to achieve cloud portability you would need to cater to the least common denominator by abstracting your application from all of the underlying logic of the infrastructure below, but this type of model comes at a costly price.  All of the actual advantages the specific cloud provides.  What if there were a better approach?  A way to achieve interoperability, and extensibility between clouds, all while taking full advantage of the underlying clouds capabilities and service portfolio.

Highlights of OpenStack Mitaka and the OpenStack Summit

But even so, many solutions these days don’t always provide the extensibility and interoperability enterprises these days need for future-proofing, application deployment portability among other popular use cases across clouds.  Hybrid cloud itself has also has proven that it isn’t immune to future proofing with disruptive technologies arising every day – not unlike, the latest and greatest containers (read more on The Disruption Cycle).  This means that the new approach needs to actually be built for hybrid stacks, not just clouds, all while providing the full functionality the underlying infrastructure provides.

Enter TOSCA (the standard by the Oasis Foundation for cloud applications).  TOSCA was written for this exact scenario, and provides inherent cloud interoperability and agnosticism.  The TOSCA approach is intended to standardize the way applications are meant to be orchestrated in cloud environments.  And enterprises love standards.  Building one syntax and vocabulary enables organizations to adapt to the fast-paced world of cloud in a substantially simplified manner.

Security for Cloud Computing: 10 Steps to Ensure Success V3.0

Cloudify, based on TOSCA, built from the ground up as an integration platform is leveraging standardized templating, workflows, and cloud plugins to provide a single pane of glass across technologies that wouldn’t natively or intuitively plugin to each other, such as OpenStack and Azure, and even Kubernetes or Docker, and non-virtualized environments like traditional data centers.  Cloudify is making it possible to choose a technology that adapts to the way your organization works or would like to work, and not require you to adapt your technologies, stacks or practices to the technologies you adopt.

Templating languages, such as TOSCA, enable far greater flexibility for abstraction than API abstraction providing the level of extensibility and customization that enterprises require, without the need to develop or change the underlying implementation code, this is why major projects such as ARIA, Tacker, and OpenStack Heat are building solutions based on this standard.

In this way, Azure users now have a set of building blocks for managing the entire application stack and its lifecycle, across clouds, stacks and technologies. And with Microsoft now proudly having the most open source developers on GitHub, yup – ahead of Facebook, Angular, and even Google & Docker amazingly – Azure is uniquely positioned to achieve this level of openness and interoperability.

Montreal Linux MeetUp - OpenStack Overview (2017.10.03)

This will also ultimately provide a higher degree of flexibility that allows users to define their own level of abstraction per use case or application.  In this manner, cloud portability is achievable without the need to change the underlying code, enabling true hybrid cloud.

China's largest OpenStack Cloud accelerates the science discovery of AMS-02

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